FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Coalition Calls for National Day of Action July 5th Against Torture and Demands Closing of Guantanamo and other Illegal Detention Centers
Call Follows Protests on July 4th Which Took Place in New York, Tel Aviv, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Provincetown, and the Hamptons
NEW YORK - July 5 - A diverse coalition of individuals and organizations from all around the United States has joined the growing call to end torture and shut down the Guantánamo prison camp and other illegal detention facilities like it.
On July 4th, the coalition mobilized citizens and individuals across the United States and world to call for the closing of the Guantánamo prison camp and demand an immediate independent investigation into the widespread allegations of abuse taking place there. American Flags declaring: "Torture Is Immoral and Unpatriotic, Shut down Guantánamo" were distributed and displayed in a show of support for the democratic values outlined in the United States Constitution.
Rallies, readings, and other activities were conducted in communities. On July 5th, the coalition is following up with a massive telephone and online campaign to members of Congress. They will call for an end to torture and the closing of all offshore, illegal detention centers. The petition being circulated on the national day of action states in part: As we commemorate this Independence Day, Guantánamo has become a powerful symbol around the world of this Administrations utter disregard for the most basic of human rights. In the spirit of true patriotism, shutting down Guantánamo would be a significant first step in restoring Americas reputation for democracy and freedom. Most important, the Administration must also be prohibited from continuing to send these and other detainees to be tortured and abused in countries with appalling human rights records and no direct American accountability. Torture is immoral and unpatriotic.
Signatories to the petition (and participants in NYCs July 4th action) thus far include: Actress Rosario Dawson, Playwright/activist Eve Ensler, author Gloria Steinem, Def Poetry Jams Staceyann Chin, Actress Shirley Knight, and New York City Council Member Margarita Lopez, who will introduce a New York City Council resolution asking to shut down Guantánamo and calling for an end to torture practices.
Coalition members include: The Center for Constitutional Rights, United For Peace And Justice, Code Pink, Not In Our Name, The Culture Project, WEDO (Women's Environment & Development Organization), and many others.
Guantánamo has become a world-wide symbol for the Bush Administration's arrogant disregard of basic human rights. In the past weeks, world leaders including Presidents Carter and Clinton have joined leading human rights groups in calling for the closing of Guantánamo and other illegal prison facilities around the globe. Countless others have joined the call for an immediate independent investigation and/or special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the numerous allegations of torture and abuse taking place on Guantánamo. These July actions are the beginning of a growing movement working together around the closing of Guantánamo and the closing of all offshore illegal detention centers.
For more information, visit http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/gac/